Aromatherapy: A New Journey
My encounters with essential oils are teaching me a great deal about scents that I never considered before. Here are some of my new understandings:
The importance of sequence
Oils smell differently depending upon the order in which you sample them. For example, when I (and others) explore different varieties of vetiver, each one varies in intensity, complexity, and appeal from one time to the next, especially if the sequence in which they're whiffed is changed.
Usually, therefore, it's best to smell the mildest versions of any oil first, and then gradually proceed to the more pungent ones.
P.s. I was very surprised the other day when I smelled two different Lavender CO2 extracts in the reverse order to my usual pattern. The one that I had considered not as good actually smelled better than my "favorite" one, if I smelled it first! Again, sequence is everything!
As I mentioned previously, I have two bottles of helichrysum, one several years older than the other, from the same company and source. To my nose, the older one smelled mellower, but to my friend, the newer one did.
In addition, every person has different memories and associations with different scents, which can color the impressions of them; and every nose is unique. I suspect that essential oils are experienced differently by each person to a larger degree than we might expect.
When I was in India for a Vedic astrology course, we stayed at an ashram and were served superb Indian cuisine. One lunchtime, I really enjoyed the squash-like new vegetable they served (and even had seconds). But when I looked up from my plate, I saw that no one else had eaten almost any of theirs. When I asked why, everyone said that is was incredibly bitter, but it wasn't bitter at all to me!
If taste can vary that much (and yes, I can taste bitterness in most foods), then imagine how much smell must vary.
The Voice of the Plants
As most of you know, I have been graced with the ability to channel Angels, and doing so comprises the largest portion of my work with clients. I recently asked my Guides what they thought about essential oils.
They said that most modern people are divorced from Nature and the Presence that it offers. And that by experiencing plants through their voices -- their essential oils -- we can be brought back into Nature and have our awareness significantly expanded.
That essential oils speak to us on many levels: genetic, emotional, and spiritual, and take us on journeys, and further our integration.
I've been experiencing the transformational effects of smelling many oils at a time lately, and become very grateful, respectful, and amazed by the potency of each delving.
The quality of oils
Because there is no certification of essential oils in the U.S., I was initially a bit wary about buying them online without being able to smell them first.
This was partially resolved by ordering small sample portions of many oils from the companies that offer samples.
But what's been surprising to me is that almost all of the oils that I've purchased -- from many different companies -- have been pure and of excellent quality!.
Note: Essential Oils vs C02 extracts. Many companies are offering two different types of oil concentrates. As Kurt Schnaubelt points out in his excellent book, Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils, essential oils have traditionally been prepared by the steam distillation method, where steam flows over the plant material and then is condensed and the oil is separated from the water.
As he says, these volatile components are what plants use to communicate with other plants and with animals and microorganisms.
With the advent of modern science, however, it has become possible to compress carbon dioxide until it's semi-liquid, and use it to extract the essences out of plants. This method not only gets the oils out of the plant, but also many of the water-soluble molecules, and as a result is a more complete representation of what is in the plant.
However, because C02 extracts contain all of the liquid constituents of a plant, they may contain substances that the plant generated to keep animals from munching on them, i.e. molecules not meant for ingestion.
Kurt compares Ginger essential oil with Ginger C02 extract. The essential oil is warming and round in odor, but has no "bite", while the C02 extract is much more like the whole plant, and has a much more authentic ginger aroma.
Nevertheless, he points out, aromatherapists need to be careful using C02 extracts, as they are new to the scene and might have different properties than essential oils.
My own experience with both is that I often prefer C02 extracts over essential oils because the fragrances are usually more complex and potent. That's also like, as I mentioned earlier, my clear preference of oils derived from wild plants over those of farmed plants.
[However, more on this topic on the next page.]
End of Part Three
(Note: Unlike many websites that "review" essential oils but are actually making a profit by selling oils via affiliations, I have no financial relationship with any aromatherapy company.)
Aromatherapy: A New Journey
Finding the best essential oils
The different methods of extraction
The Essential Oil Company
I didn't want to love
How to evaluate essential oils
A Phenomenally Great Essential Oil Company
Essential Oil Shootouts
and also, my blog on:
The Magical oil called Oud
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